The two words appear to both mean the English word question. Are they completely interchangeable?


I am not a native speaker, but as I understand it: 質問 means a question in general; 設問 is a question that has been posed. That is, 設問する is to ask a question that you already know the answer to or for the purpose of generating discussion.

Be careful, however, because what we call a "question" on an exam in English is a 問題 in Japanese.


According to the dictionary:

せつもん【設問】: a question to assess the knowledge of a candidate or student.

しつもん【質問】: a question about something you don't know.

  • 1
    Why was this downvoted? Was it because setumon might be extended beyond just students/candidates?
    – ajsmart
    Sep 19 '18 at 19:45

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